Lauren Sallata: “Access to equitable education is a global issue in which we must all take an active role to tackle through”

As a leader, I believe in the player-coach model, not only rolling up my sleeves to do the work, but also investing in talent and building competency and capabilities within our teams. That’s also been our strategy behind our successful evolution at Panasonic — to leverage our global talent and intellectual property and apply them to new […]

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As a leader, I believe in the player-coach model, not only rolling up my sleeves to do the work, but also investing in talent and building competency and capabilities within our teams. That’s also been our strategy behind our successful evolution at Panasonic — to leverage our global talent and intellectual property and apply them to new markets and customer challenges. Since joining the company, I’ve established a Community of Practice for sales and marketing teams aimed at creating a culture of collaboration and sharing best practices. Last year, we saw the importance of breaking down siloes and drawing people together. Another key part of leadership is accountability, not only laying out the vision but ensuring that your team feels heard and understands their role as contributors to bring the vision to life. That is what helps to fuel innovation, adaptability and productivity for a resilient organization.


As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lauren Sallata.

Lauren Sallata is Chief Marketing Officer at Panasonic Corporation of North America. She leads the transformation and operation of the corporation’s digital, brand, content, advertising, and corporate communications efforts. She has a unique role in the company serving regional responsibilities as well as developing the global brand strategy.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series Lauren! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Growing up, I actually wanted to be an architect but eventually deviated from that career path and instead chose to pursue a liberal arts degree in English. Naturally, with a foundation of creativity and building human connections, I gravitated towards communications beginning my career in public relations at a nonprofit. I saw a greater opportunity to make an impact through advertising, direct marketing, digital communication, and other disciplines beyond media. While working in public relations, I realized that I was responsible for positioning companies so, I went back to school part-time to pursue my MBA. It was a great decision that helped me to really learn the business of marketing (and this was before the world of remote and online classes).

I have worked agency side, in-house for a variety of organizations and now proudly sit as the chief marketing officer at Panasonic Corporation of North America. As CMO, my role is to ensure we’re considering the diverse audiences that interact with our brand on a daily basis, and in different markets. That’s really what has been a guiding light particularly being entrusted with an iconic storied brand like Panasonic where I’m in a position to impact how we engage digitally, how we tell our stories, and how we serve our current and future customers, as well as partners and employees.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?

One of my first challenges, and opportunities, when joining Panasonic was to rethink how marketing, digital and communications could empower the organization to deliver a great experience to prospects, customers, applicants and employees. As a more than 100-year-old company that had recently undergone a massive business transformation, the brand had not yet caught up with this repositioning. While we’d grown from a from a company best known for its hardware into a developer of software and services with more integrated, complete solutions, our brand hadn’t yet caught up and we’re still continuing to evolve.

Panasonic’s brand journey has evolved alongside the company’s transformation. At our core we are an innovator of technologies that have been and continue to be used in consumer products globally. In North America, we are enabling and delivering innovation across today’s most exciting, critical industries like avionics, automotive, air quality and food retail. At Panasonic, we’re enabling businesses and governments to build seamless services for their customers in energy, entertainment, mobility, and supply chain. One thing that is so unique about Panasonic is our innate desire to dedicate ourselves to creating technologies that move us all forward, improving people’s lives and making the world a better place. If I were to name the underlying theme that runs through our entire scope of work, it’s really our commitment to sustainability and contribution to society, which is a natural tie back to where I began my career.

Can you describe how you or your organization is making a significant social impact?

For more than a century, Panasonic has been a purpose-driven company with our core mission of ‘contribution to society’ and this continues to be in our DNA. That’s why we’ve partnered with a group of extraordinary athletes that include, Olympians and Paralympians Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky, Lex Gillette, and Sakura Kokumai, and most recently our newest additions Nathan Chen, Maame Bine and Noah Elliott in our mission to give back through our products and solutions, as well as volunteerism.

Team Panasonic, which also includes our 260,000 global employees, and our #whatmoveus digital campaign embrace the spirit of changing the world through purpose-driven technologies. We share a deep respect for inspiring change, growth, innovation and social good and are equally dedicated to progress and purposeful action. Our employees are making a direct impact through sustainable solutions such as the use of responsible refrigerants in our cold chain products, delivering clean energy from our battery technology, enabling smart cities showcasing nearly neutral carbon living with heating, hot water and energy management solutions for residents, moving our communities forward and forever focused on creating a better life, a better world.

Panasonic has long invested in programs and institutions that support the development of students and youth as they are tomorrow’s workforce. Together, Team Panasonic aims to inspire today’s youth to dream big and to work hard to make those dreams come true. With a mission to address the widespread gap between future tech jobs and education in science, tech, engineering, arts and math (STEAM), especially in underserved communities, Panasonic is focused on advancing equity in education.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

At Panasonic, we’re striving to empower youth, the rising innovators who will move our world forward, by providing access and opportunities to discover their talent and be their best self. Whether that’s by creating job opportunities, developing community partnerships, or promoting mentors and role models to look up to, we want to make sure that the next generation of leaders are equipped with resources they need. What we’ve seen especially in the last year is that real change requires strength in numbers.

Access to equitable education is a global issue in which we must all take an active role to tackle through — inspiring greatness in youth, providing opportunities focused on closing the gap to alleviate inequities in educational access and supporting programs aimed at improving the academic and social success of all students. From working with local schools in our communities to close the digital divide during the pandemic to partnering nationally with Katie Ledecky in her Dive into STEM Education program and the Michael Phelps Foundation, Panasonic hopes to strengthen and diversify the tech talent pipeline of the global 21st-century economy, while inspiring the next generation to reach higher and achieve their personal best.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

As a leader, I believe in the player-coach model, not only rolling up my sleeves to do the work, but also investing in talent and building competency and capabilities within our teams. That’s also been our strategy behind our successful evolution at Panasonic — to leverage our global talent and intellectual property and apply them to new markets and customer challenges. Since joining the company, I’ve established a Community of Practice for sales and marketing teams aimed at creating a culture of collaboration and sharing best practices. Last year, we saw the importance of breaking down siloes and drawing people together. Another key part of leadership is accountability, not only laying out the vision but ensuring that your team feels heard and understands their role as contributors to bring the vision to life. That is what helps to fuel innovation, adaptability and productivity for a resilient organization.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would love to see a movement of unity, and people embracing their passion to empower them to make the world a better place. At Panasonic, we believe that passion drives progress, leading to purposeful action and innovation in the world around us. Our ability to contribute positively society can only be achieved through the combined efforts of dedicated individuals who are united in common purpose, including our employees, our customers and our partners. Unity and a shared vision of a better world will help to move us all forward.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

We recently held our Panasonic North American Leadership Summit for current and emerging leaders in the organization, and one of our featured keynote speakers was Olympian Apolo Ohno. He shared his personal mantra “One world, one life, one chance, your choice.” These words really resonated with me especially coming out of last year and all of its challenges, as well as the recent death of my father. With the new normal on the horizon, it’s important to make the most of every opportunity, take smart risks and invest your time and energy in what matters most to you.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Readers can follow me directly on LinkedIn and Twitter. They can also check out Panasonic’s pages learn about our latest innovation in technology and social good.

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

Thanks so much for having me. It was my pleasure.

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